Marie Laure Leclercq of Montreal wins 2016 CBA SOGIC Hero Award

  • February 19, 2016

OTTAWA РThe Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has named Marie Laure Leclercq of Montr̩al winner of the 2016 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) Hero Award.

A trailblazer and pillar of the LGBTT community, she has, through her work at the CBA and other community organizations, served as an example and role model for countless trans people seeking their way through unwelcome professional environments.

“Marie Laure has demonstrated a longstanding commitment of extraordinary advocacy and support of the LGBTT community, including her continued passion and dedication to the Canadian Bar Association,” says Nicole Nussbaum, chair of SOGIC.  

As the first member of a major Montréal law firm to transition while practising, Marie Laure Leclercq’s personal and professional journey has made a difference for the LGBTT community. She has devoted countless hours to organizations including the first World Outgames held in Montreal in 2006 and as a member of the International Scientific Committee for the Conference on GLBT Human Rights held in conjunction with the games.

Her involvement with the Quebec Gay Chamber of Commerce as Secretary and Vice-President was recognized with awards in 2009 and 2014. In June 2015, she was re-elected as a member of the board of the Chamber of Commerce for a two-year mandate.

She was a member (2002-2005) and then President (2005-2007) of the Quebec Branch Equality Committee. In 2007, she spearheaded the creation of the Quebec Branch Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference, which she co-chaired until 2009 and then again from 2012 to 2014, in addition to sitting on the national SOGIC Executive.

In addition to her work with and on behalf of equality seeking groups within the CBA, Marie Laure assumed prominent leadership roles within the Quebec Branch. She thus joined the Quebec Executive in 2005, first as representative of the Equality Committee, then as Secretary (2007), Vice-President (2008-2009), and President (2010-2011) of the Quebec Branch.

In 2011, she was a founding member of the Quebec Branch Legislation and Law Reform Committee, which she has chaired since 2015. From 2011-2013 and again from 2015 onwards, she was a member of the Executive Committee of the National IP Section as well as President of the Quebec Branch IP Section in 2012-2013 and currently a member. In addition, she currently sits on the Quebec Branch Communications and Equality committees.

Counsel with the Montréal firm De Grandpré Chait, Marie Laure Leclercq practises in the areas of intellectual property and technology. Her practice focuses on patents, trademarks, copyright (software, Internet and entertainment law) and industrial design. She acts for businesses and organizations that operate in industries, including technology, manufacturing, franchising and distribution. Marie Laure also sat on the boards of several start-up and high-tech companies, and has previously occupied key positions in technology companies.

An engineer before she was a lawyer, Marie Laure Leclercq was called to the Quebec Bar in 1981. She received her B.Sc. in 1974 and M.Sc. in 1977 from École Polytechnique de Montréal, her LL.L from Université de Montréal in 1980, and her MBA in Finance from McGill University in 1982.

The SOGIC Hero Award is open to lawyers, professors, law students or judges who are members of the LGBTT community, who have advanced the cause of equality of the LGBTT community through either a single important action or series of actions or through a career contribution. It may also recognize those, who through excellence in their profession or community, or both, have served as role models for other members of the LGBTT community.

Marie Laure Leclercq will receive the award on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, during the CBA Mid-Winter Meeting of Council.

The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.